Nancy Grace: I don't have to agree with Casey Anthony jury
HLN host and former prosecutor Nancy Grace broadcasts live during verdict watch in the Casey Anthony trial this week.
July 6th, 2011
08:56 PM ET

Nancy Grace: I don't have to agree with Casey Anthony jury

HLN host Nancy Grace has been credited with making the Casey Anthony case a national story. She has been outspoken in her belief that Anthony is guilty of murdering her daughter, despite a jury's verdict. She's also a former prosecutor with strong opinions about what went on in the Florida courtroom in the past few weeks. She spoke with CNN.com about how she would have tried the case, the "CSI effect" on juries and why she doesn't "give a fig" about what Anthony's defense team thinks about her.

Grace: As I’ve always said since 1984, when I started trying cases, you win or lose your case - it’s all over at the end of voir dire (jury selection). I’ve always believed that. It’s true. I think this jury hamstrung the state. The state absolutely put up a good case and I get real fed up when I hear this is a circumstantial case. Most cases are circumstantial because rarely do people commit felony crimes in the open. Murder, armed robbery, you do it in private, in secret, so very rarely is there an eyewitness or direct evidence to a crime.

CNN: Watching a case like this, do you miss the courtroom and prosecuting cases?

Grace: I always miss the courtroom. I miss the courtroom all the time because the courtroom gave me immediate gratification. I knew I’d done something worthwhile when I put someone behind bars or represented crime victims, I knew I had a done a good thing by speaking for people who couldn’t speak for themselves. I don’t get that immediate gratification from being on TV.

CNN: As a former prosecutor, if you could retry this case, how would you do it differently?

Grace: I think they did such a very good job it’s hard to attack anything they did. I think maybe I would’ve taken a different tack in jury selection but that’s really it. There were some obvious problem jurors: You had one on there with an arrest for DUI; another with an arrest for drug paraphernalia; one whose sister and her boyfriend beat up their father; one juror who said she could not judge. Why the heck would you not want someone off the jury who cannot judge? The jury is the sole judge of facts, evidence and the law. Who the heck wants someone who can’t judge? They tried to get rid of them but were not successful. I think the jury was snakebitten from the get-go.

CNN: What do you think is the most important piece of evidence that the jury never saw or heard?

Grace: I don’t believe they saw all of the audiotapes or heard all the videotapes (of Casey Anthony’s jailhouse phone calls). I think the so-called bodyguard or bail bondsman had a lot to offer, his discussions with tot mom when she was referring to Caylee in the past tense before her body had been found, her being very flip about Caylee, being more concerned about a hot guy flirting with her on Facebook. Evidence of that nature.

There was another inmate that she allegedly discussed chloroform with, the fact there was absolutely an inmate who talked about a child floating in a pool in the backyard while the family was in the house … she lifted that story and transposed it onto Caylee. The fact that that inmate may not have had direct discussions with tot mom does not matter. … She did discuss it behind bars and within earshot of tot mom when they were in jail, on the cellblock at same time. I understand why the state didn’t do it, because when you start dealing with snitches and inmates it can blow up in your face.

CNN: What was the biggest weakness in the state’s forensic evidence, if any?

Grace: The single biggest weakness was the state didn’t have a cause of death. That is not required - there have been many, many cases with murder 1 convictions without any body. But the fact that the defendant can get rid of a body or let a body (be) hidden for so long that you cannot determine a cause of death is not a reason a defendant should get a benefit or a gold star or A-plus. I think the fact they didn’t have a cause of death hurt them because the jury could not understand the case or take it in. Juries have been watching too much "CSI" - they want murder weapon, DNA, fingerprints. In this case, there was no blood, no murder weapon. They wanted things that didn’t exist. They wanted a murder weapon – the murder weapon was tot mom’s hands. I also think the jury didn’t understand the law or felony murder. All said, it was a bad jury and I do not think it reflects on the case the state put up.

CNN: What did you think of the defense case? Did their experts neutralize the state’s experts?

Grace: I don’t think much of the defense case. However, when it gets so complex for jurors, the experts cancel themselves out.

CNN: How would you have handled Cindy Anthony? Should the state consider charging her with perjury?

Grace: I know she committed perjury but I don’t think a jury would convict her. I think that’s a very tough decision for authorities to make ... but no doubt what she said on the stand was not true.

CNN: People credit your involvement in highlighting the case early on. Looking back, is there anything you would have done differently?

Grace: The only thing I would’ve done differently is put on my hip boots and gone down to Florida and looked for Caylee myself.

CNN: What did you think of Cheney Mason’s statements that lawyers like yourself engaged in media assassination for the past three years?

Grace: I don’t recall him mentioning me by name but I think he’s more likely targeting local lawyers and members of the Florida bar who were discussing the case in the community. However, on the off chance he is, I really don’t give a fig. I mean, every time you take a stand on anything or stand up for anything, somebody’s going to dislike you and the fact that one of tot mom’s defense lawyers doesn’t like me doesn’t concern me in the least. I don’t like them much either.

CNN: Do you think it’s unethical for lawyers like yourself to make such pointed statements about a defendant’s guilt or innocence on national television?

Grace: Let me see, if I’m correct, the Constitution has a little thing called the First Amendment which allows for freedom of speech and under freedom of speech, unless it is defamatory, I’m pretty much allowed to speak my mind, and the fact I’m an upstanding member of the Georgia and D.C. bars does not cause me to lose my freedom of speech. As a matter of fact, if you were to read the minutes that were taken down as the Constitution was being written and passed, our fathers wanted courtrooms large enough for the whole community to sit in and see. No closed-door justice, no secret justice, and to me, that ensures a lively discourse about our justice system and what’s going on in the courtroom. So the answer to your question is no. I don’t consider discussing court cases unethical. In fact, I consider it healthy.

CNN: You have said that our system of justice requires us to respect the jury's decision, but since the verdict you have continued to maintain that Casey Anthony is guilty and that the jurors erred in their decision. When is it time to come to terms with the fact that the jurors disagreed with you and move on?

Grace: I’ve already come to grips with the fact they disagree with me, and I don’t agree with them. But that doesn’t mean I have to agree with their decision. They were wrong: Tot mom murdered her daughter.

CNN: If you had access to the jurors, what would you ask them?

Grace: I would ask them why they did what they did. I’d like to know why. Not that it’s going to make any difference. There’s no way to explain their verdict, no logical way. Maybe that’s the problem. I’m trying to apply logic to people who were illogical in their jury deliberations.

CNN: Is there anything Casey Anthony can do to redeem herself? What would you like to see her do?

Grace: I’d like to see her admit she’s guilty and go to jail. Other than that, I’m not in the business of forgiving. That’s up to the lord. I’m just relieved that I believe, that I know, Caylee is in a place where her mother cannot hurt her anymore.

Watch Nancy Grace Monday through Sunday starting at 8 p.m. ET on HLN. For the latest from Nancy Grace click here.

soundoff (2,650 Responses)
  1. mini fox

    NANCY GRACE IS CORRECT....WE DONT HAVE TO AGREE WITH HER EITHER! WE DO NOT LIVE IN SALEM OR THE STONEAGES. DEFENSE ATTY BARRACUDA BAEZ SAVED ANOTHER LIFE...RIP CAYLEE, ONLY YOU KNOW THE TRUTH! MEDIA MADNESS CONTINUES TO BEGET MORE CHAOS...SHAME ON YOU ALL!

    July 6, 2011 at 11:33 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Brooke

    Scott Peterson & Casey Anthony!!! Match made in hell!!! Love it! They could have a "beautiful life" as long as no children are in it! I am so mad that she got away with this! Poor poor Caylee! The justice system has failed her! And Nancy is the bomb!!!

    July 6, 2011 at 11:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • felicia henry

      YOU HAVENO IDEAL WHAT YOY ARE TALKING ABOUT .YES JUSTIC FOR THE CHILD BUT YOU HAVE THAT IF I CAN SAY SOMEONE HAS TO PAY.LETS HOPE YOU NEVER END UP IN COURT AND NEED TO HAVE A FAIR TRAIL.YOU DO NOT KNOW WHAT HAPPEN TO THE CHILD YOUY ARE SO CAUGHT UP IN NACY CRAZY TALK YOU DO NOT CARE TO KNOW.ASK YOURSELF WHY WAS HER BODY FOUND MONTHS AFTER SHE WASIN JAIL AFTER THEY SEACRH THAT AREA.DO NOT TELL ME THEY DID NOT SEARCH THERE CAUSE THEY DID A ,GRID SEARCH IF YOU KNOW WHAT THAT IS.

      July 6, 2011 at 11:54 pm | Report abuse |
  3. disgusted in ny

    Nancy, Keep doing what you're doing. We TRULY appreciate you!

    July 6, 2011 at 11:33 pm | Report abuse |
  4. RICHARD MILLS

    JUSTICE FOR MILLS FAMILY
    http://www.Facebook.com/JusticeForMillsFamily

    TWEET FOR JUSTICE!!!!
    http://www.Twitter.com/JusticeForMills

    July 6, 2011 at 11:34 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Wootie

    I just have to say that, whether or not Casey is or isn't guilty, I was sick and tired of Nancy Grace about 5 minutes after she first went on the air.

    STFU and GTFO you sanctimonious b1tch.

    July 6, 2011 at 11:34 pm | Report abuse |
  6. James

    Hey Nancy how much money did you make from exploiting this tragedy?

    July 6, 2011 at 11:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • felicia henry

      GOOD ONE

      July 6, 2011 at 11:55 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Tot mom is a child killer

    Casey Anthony sold her soul to the Devil. And so shall she perish in Hell for eternity.

    July 6, 2011 at 11:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tot mom is a child killer

      Along with the rest of the defense team and the jury!

      July 6, 2011 at 11:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • felicia henry

      YOU NEED TO STOP JUDING PEOPLE IF YOU DO NOT LIKE IT HERE,GO TO ANOTHER COUNTRY.

      July 6, 2011 at 11:58 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Duo

    Nancy Grace does a service only to her pocket book.

    July 6, 2011 at 11:35 pm | Report abuse |
  9. felicia henry

    you need to stop and get a life ! For a person who so call go to church you act like you are god.I am so over you putting yourself or your childern in her shoe.Talking about you never seen a person act like that come on and you use to be a proscuter. You have people that give birth throw the child away and go on with their life.You should be ashame of yourself on this witch hunt anything happen to her it is your fault.Remember what happen to you the last time you have not learn anything.

    July 6, 2011 at 11:35 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Peter Murdoch

    Wow a couple people on the jury didn't live up to Nancy's standards. What a joke. So that's why she got away with murder not because the state had NO evidence. Maybe they can get a jury of right wingers like Nancy Grace on there next time.

    July 6, 2011 at 11:36 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Peter Murdoch

    Nancy Grace and CNN are making money off this child's death

    July 6, 2011 at 11:37 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Peter

    True, you don't have to agree, but fortunately you have to respect it and fortunately citizens of this great country are not judged by people like you who fail to understand the principles on which our laws are founded. In a capital punishment case such as this one, there cannot be a reasonable doubt. If you sat on that jury, you'd be irresponsible to find her guilty in the face of 1) absence of knowledge of how she died, and 2) absence of hard proof that she caused her death. We all know that she's trying to cover it up, but that doesn't necessarily mean she killed her, a point that I am sure sails far over you.

    July 6, 2011 at 11:37 pm | Report abuse |
  13. craig

    What the hell do you have to do to get your post to show up?

    July 6, 2011 at 11:37 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Dustin G

    nancy you are an embarassment to hln and cnn. you are the Lord, who are you to pass judgement on everybody else?

    July 6, 2011 at 11:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Barney

      I agree with Dustin G, Hin and Cnn

      July 6, 2011 at 11:40 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Barney

    Nancy, also how could you watch all the days of Court and do your job, you would have gotten fired rigtht, right Nancy. Try having a wreck, with a head on collision and the other person gets kill, whose to say whose right and who was wrong, the Jury Nancy , not you.

    July 6, 2011 at 11:38 pm | Report abuse |
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